There is a seminar tomorrow by Dr. Eungul Lee of the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), University of Wisconsin-Madison and Visiting Research Scientist CIRES
University of Colorado (CU). The seminar will be at ECCE 1B41 at CU on September 15, 2009 at 11 – 12:00
The title is Links Between Climate, Irrigation, and Malaria
The abstract reads
Globally, the expansion and intensification of agricultural practices have altered our planet’s land surface, and they could accelerate as irrigation activities increase. Several atmospheric modeling and
water balance modeling studies have shown that increased irrigation can modify the conditions of surface heat and moisture, and also regional climate. Previous studies have considered irrigation effects
as a local or regional climate forcing mainly confined to the near-surface and lower-level atmospheric conditions. Here, we identify the effects of irrigation/vegetation activity on the climate in India using the observational and reanalysis record through statistical methods. We also explore the impacts of irrigation on summer climate over Asia not only near the surface but also in the mid- and upper-troposphere using model simulations. In addition, the relationships between malaria incidence and climate/irrigation in India are examined.
We find that a weak early monsoon rainfall in India appears to be a result of irrigation and the resultant increased vegetation and crop activity prior to the monsoon from the observational analysis. Simulated results suggest that irrigation is a large enough forcing to modify the climate near the surface as well as in the upper-troposphere at the regional scale, and it could affect the climate at the large scale. In the preliminary results for malaria study, increasing precipitation related to La Niña could be a favorable condition for malaria incidence in arid area in western India, but the relationship is not consistent in wet monsoon region in far-eastern India where shows a significant positive correlation between malaria incidence and temperature. These studies highlight the importance of human-induced land cover changes in the climate systems, and their consequences (changing climate and ecosystem) on human health.
I have posted on her earlier research; e.g. see